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Author Topic: Assessment of Location Before Studying for General Exam  (Read 3396 times)
AA4PB
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Posts: 12836




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« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2010, 11:50:23 AM »

Hams have been working all sorts of DX on HF mobile stations for years. If someone can do it from such a limited space as a car then you can certainly do it from your back yard.
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KE5TGG
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Posts: 10




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« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2010, 07:11:01 PM »

Tom (Kb3hg)... you said that there are 13 ARRL clubs with 25 miles of my zip code. How did you know my zip code, I didn't post it?

Chris
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NI3S
Member

Posts: 67




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« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2010, 07:19:24 PM »

TGG,

Don't talk yourself out of HF.  My first antenna at this house was a 300' twin resonant dipole on 20m hanging between a tree and my deck probably ~25' up.  I borrowed a SWR meter to tune it.  Used radios are all over for $300.  PSK is a great time and easy learn.  They only thing you need is a PC for your shack.  

If you can build you antennas, a little wire and some plastic parts can get you world wide.  Adding a tuner is all that will be needed.  I can tell you from experience you don't need 1.5kW to rag chew, and a soldering iron can save you a lot of money.  

Right after you get your General ticket head straight to Extra.  
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AC5UP
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Posts: 3864




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« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2010, 07:35:21 PM »

Tom (Kb3hg)... you said that there are 13 ARRL clubs with 25 miles of my zip code. How did you know my zip code, I didn't post it?

Your license is a public record. http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/license.jsp?licKey=3009574

If you really want to freak, click this: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=1828+Queen+Street,+Fort+Worth,+TX+76103&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=59.337006,106.435547&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=1828+Queen+St,+Fort+Worth,+Tarrant,+Texas+76103&ll=32.750428,-97.249199&spn=0.000977,0.001624&t=h&z=20

The Google is your master.  Grin
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N3OX
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Posts: 8847


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« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2010, 07:35:30 PM »

When people ask about antenna ideas for their location in these forums, I typically look up their call on QRZ.com or directly in the FCC database, get their address, and then take a look at their location on Google Maps... aerial view of the property and sometimes street view is available, which tends to be useful... it's a "picture is worth a thousand words" sort of thing.

You can see my antennas in the background here:

http://bit.ly/aZgE0K

That's not my house... my house is around the corner, but you can't really see my antennas from my street, except for the top little thin bit of my really tall vertical... and actually, Google Street View doesn't take snapshots frequently enough to see my antenna from their pictures of the front at all.  My 60 foot antenna is visually blocked by 15-20 foot tall trees in my front yard!  Big antennas aren't always going to dominate the landscape...

Lots of information on Google Maps & Google Street View to help people with antenna choices.  I hope you don't find it too creepy that I'm going around looking at your house on the internet... one of the weird aspects of modern life I guess. 
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
AC5UP
Member

Posts: 3864




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« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2010, 08:01:42 PM »

Somebody needs to mulch their Rhododendrons.

BTW: Bing maps has this pseudo 3-D thingie that's remarkably photorealistic: http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=qgsvyb8kpcsq&scene=46532936&lvl=2&sty=b&where1=5021%20Oglethorpe%20St%2C%20Riverdale%2C%20MD%2020737-2038

Here's mine: http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=pzv6sg70dfm3&scene=16898605&lvl=2&sty=b&where1=13410%20S%20128th%20East%20Ave%2C%20Broken%20Arrow%2C%20OK%2074011-7419

Is that groovy or what ?
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2386




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« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2010, 05:42:04 PM »

On "How I came to Love Ham Radio" --

If you post an article on that topic, it will get many, many replies -- each one a story of its own.

I am living in a townhouse complex, and I work HF with a dipole in my attic.

I just got an award in the mail -- I _won_ my class, in BC, in the 2009 IARU HF Contest.  So I don't think _you_ will have any problems getting an antenna set up in your situation, or in getting a signal out with it.

               Charles

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N2EY
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Posts: 3879




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« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2010, 08:32:04 PM »

I looked at your place on Bing "Birds Eye View". You have plenty of HF antenna options.

A tower might be a bit of a stretch but you don't need a tower to work lots of good stuff on HF. You have room for decent wire antennas.

Go for it. Don't stop at General, either.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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N0AZZ
Member

Posts: 241




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« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2010, 06:17:36 AM »

One thing you could have a look at is a flagpole antenna a good one they will not be noticed by anyone there several to chose from. or just a vertical in the back yard with radials they work best. Just get your license you will have a great time on HF I did not get a license till I was 59.
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AC5UP
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Posts: 3864




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« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2010, 07:56:10 AM »

...and now you have " No Azz " ! That'll learn ya'....  Grin

BTW: Years ago I did a filler piece for a newsletter about some of the folks in Zero Land. They have no cat, no dog, no hat, no sex, no fun........... It just goes on and on. And then there is Stephen Earley of Rio Hondo, TX.

Stephen is a tech.

N0SHT
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AB7KT
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Posts: 155




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« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2010, 09:24:57 PM »

Don't think for a minute that all hams on HF have big antennas on high towers. That definitely isn't the case. I have been a ham for over 30 years and have never owned a tower. My current antenna is a wire dipole at 30' and I have a ball with it. Over the years I have lived in many less than ideal situations due to: HOAs, rental houses, or apartments. In most of them, I managed to put out an HF signal. Some were obviously better than others.
At my last house I simply put a loop of wire around the house (single story) and fed it in the center with ladder line into a tuner. It didn't work well, but it got me on the air and I made contacts. I even worked a couple big DXpeditions QRP using that loop of wire. At another house I made a "dipole" which was simply a wire as big as I could put on the property fed in the center with ladder line. It went from a tree in the back yard to a tree in the front yard. It actually worked pretty well, but the sunspot cycle was in a better place than it is now.
You could use a GOOD mobile antenna: a screwdriver with a radial field. There are all kinds of small loops, small verticals, vertical wires, very small verticals that extend out from a window at 45 degrees, indoor antennas.............. that you can try. This is what ham radio is all about: learning about antennas and trying them.
There is no question in my mind that you could make any number of antennas work in your situation. Your situation is better than some I have had.
There is a guy in the San Fransico area that I have worked several times. He is using a some kind of homebrew vertical in the house that puts out an amazing signal. I used to work a guy in San Diego that was using a dipole in the house (the living part of the house) and he sounded very good. I have worked a guy a number of times that is a VERY active ham that has been using his rain gutter for years as his only antenna due to HOAs. Over the years I have worked all kinds of people using all kinds of seriously compromised antennas.
If nothing else you can operate portable and/or mobile on HF. You can even put a GOOD screwdriver antenna on your car and run coax into the house and use that from inside.
One tip that you can take for what it's worth. CW or digital modes work a lot better than SSB in bad conditions. IMO and in my experience, the worse your antenna the more you will get out of CW.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2010, 09:30:54 PM by Kenneth J. Gilcrest » Logged

I thought you said this was a weak signal mode ? I HAVE a weak signal and he still didn't hear me.

FWIW: My callsign is AB8KT
N0AZZ
Member

Posts: 241




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« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2010, 06:53:03 AM »

...and now you have " No Azz " ! That'll learn ya'....  Grin

BTW: Years ago I did a filler piece for a newsletter about some of the folks in Zero Land. They have no cat, no dog, no hat, no sex, no fun........... It just goes on and on. And then there is Stephen Earley of Rio Hondo, TX.

Stephen is a tech.

N0SHT

Your right things are tough here but your real close just a stones throw  Grin

Hope to catch you on the bands soon have a good'in.

Fred
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K0BG
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« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2010, 07:34:48 AM »

Mr. Fry, how about this?

KE5TGG
FRY, CHRISTOPHER J
1828 QUEEN ST
FORT WORTH, TX 76103

Right off the FCC database!
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KE5TGG
Member

Posts: 10




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« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2010, 04:24:37 PM »

You guys are great. Again, thanks a million for all of the advice and encouragement. Now I know not to let my location stop me from studying for my General Class License, which I've already been doing BTW. I knew it had to be a dumb question, asking how anyone knew my zip code, etc., and that I just wasn't giving it enough thought.

BTW, Jim, congrats on getting your Gen. Lic. at 62!

I'm not fast, so it won't be anytime soon that I'll be ready for the exam, but I'll get there, the Lord willing. In the mean time, I'll keep listening to ham operators on my little Kaito 1103 shortwave. That little sucker is unbelievably powerful, esp. for a portable radio. In addition to the telescopic antenna on top, it came with a simple, long wire ext. ant. that plugs into the side of the radio, with an alligator clip at the other end. I ran it outside and up along the eves of the roof. I hardly ever need it, but every now and then I'll get a faint signal and plug it in. You wouldn't believe the difference it makes, and how much more power it gives the radio. It pulls in faint voices right up close... unbelievable. I've picked up lots of distant places on my little KA1103, including the Netherlands last Sun. night.
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K6JEA
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Posts: 37




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« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2010, 02:48:23 PM »

Chris,

Check your inbox, I send you a PM.

Jim
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